The Most Amazing Pieces of Artwork Ever Made

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 This is a CrowdRanked List of the most fantastic pieces of art ever made. While art is most definitely subjective, these are pieces that few can argue about and have withstood the test of time and changing cultural tastes. Make your own list and rank the artwork you think is the best, or just make a list to add an item you think is missing.
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  • Sistine Chapel ceiling
    Photo: Metaweb / CC-BY
    The Sistine Chapel ceiling, painted by Michelangelo between 1508 and 1512, is a cornerstone work of High Renaissance art. The ceiling is that of the Sistine Chapel, the large papal chapel built within the Vatican between 1477 and 1480 by Pope Sixtus IV, for whom the chapel is named. It was painted at the commission of Pope Julius II. The chapel is the location for papal conclaves and many important services. The ceiling's various painted elements form part of a larger scheme of decoration within the Chapel, which includes the large fresco The Last Judgment on the sanctuary wall, also by Michelangelo, wall paintings by several leading painters of the late 15th century including Sandro ...more
    • Artist: Michelangelo
    • Art Form: Fresco
    • Period / Movement: High Renaissance
  • The Creation of Adam
    Photo: flickr / CC0
    The Creation of Adam is a fresco painting by Michelangelo, which forms part of the Sistine Chapel's ceiling, painted circa 1511–1512. It illustrates the Biblical creation narrative from the Book of Genesis in which God breathes life into Adam, the first man. The fresco is part of a complex iconographic scheme and is chronologically the fourth in the series of panels depicting episodes from Genesis. It is the most well-known of the Sistine Chapel fresco panels, and its fame as a piece of art is rivaled only by the Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci. The image of the near-touching hands of God and Adam has become iconic of humanity and has been reproduced in countless imitations and parodies. ...more
    • Artist: Michelangelo
    • Subject: Adam
    • Genres (Art): History painting
    • Art Form: Fresco
    • Period / Movement: Italian Renaissance, Renaissance
  • The School of Athens
    Photo: Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY
    The School of Athens, or Scuola di Atene in Italian, is one of the most famous frescoes by the Italian Renaissance artist Raphael. It was painted between 1509 and 1511 as a part of Raphael's commission to decorate the rooms now known as the Stanze di Raffaello, in the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican. The Stanza della Segnatura was the first of the rooms to be decorated, and The School of Athens, representing Philosophy, was probably the second painting to be finished there, after La Disputa on the opposite wall, and the Parnassus. The picture has long been seen as "Raphael's masterpiece and the perfect embodiment of the classical spirit of the High Renaissance."
    • Artist: Raphael
    • Subject: Ancient Greece
    • Genres (Art): History painting
    • Art Form: Fresco, Painting
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    Pietà
    Photo: flickr / CC0
    The Pietà is a world-famous work of Renaissance sculpture by Michelangelo Buonarroti, housed in St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican City. It is the first of a number of works of the same theme by the artist. The statue was commissioned for the French Cardinal Jean de Bilhères, who was a representative in Rome. The sculpture, in Carrara marble, was made for the cardinal's funeral monument, but was moved to its current location, the first chapel on the right as one enters the basilica, in the 18th century. It is the only piece Michelangelo ever signed. This famous work of art depicts the body of Jesus on the lap of his mother Mary after the Crucifixion. The theme is of Northern origin, popular by ...more
    • Artist: Michelangelo
    • Subject: Pietà, Lamentation of Christ, Blessed Virgin Mary
    • Genres (Art): Christian art
    • Art Form: Sculpture
    • Period / Movement: Italian Renaissance, Renaissance